Joost's disease still a mystery

2011-06-07 13:09
Philip de Bruin
Johannesburg - The "fatal" disease that Joost van der Westhuizen reportedly suffers from remains a mystery.

Weeks after the former Springbok captain suddenly went to hospital and was diagnosed with a fatal motor neuron disease (MNS), his neurologist is still not exactly sure what's wrong with him.

Van der Westhuizen's spokesperson, Bridget van Oerle, said on Monday that the results of a series of tests done on Van der Westhuizen, after he was initially told he did not have long to live, are still unavailable.

"Consequently, Joost cannot start any treatment yet."

Neurologists will only be able to decide about treatment when it has been determined whether he actually has MNS, and if so, which form of the disease.

His estranged wife, Amor Vittone, has recently said that she is confused because Van der Westhuizen is not keeping her up to date about his condition.



  • Rainbow - 2011-06-07 13:28

    My mom had MND and from the time of symptoms appearing to final diagnosis it took over a year to confirm. No matter what anyone said or promised or tried to do, the disease was unstoppable and untreatable. If this is what he has, I extend my sincere sympathy to the family, it is not an easy thing to go through or support someone through. However, if the doctors are still uncertain, it is not surprising either. As agonising as it is to wait, there is so much uncertainty about this condition that it is not surprising that there is a delay. All the best to Joost and the family.

      gerhard.stimie - 2011-06-07 13:49

      My sympathy Rainbow.. I know what families go through with this disease. I share your support for Joost and his whole family!

      chat-chat - 2011-07-12 12:17

      People who have experienced the devasating effect of MND (or of any other debilitating fatal disease) will have compassion for Joost & his family. To those of you making all the snide comments - pray that you never have to go through this pain. Joost made mistakes in his life - who hasn't? It does not mean that he or his family deserve this.

  • alicia - 2011-06-07 13:34

    When the news first broke, I thought he would be on his deathbed by now? Please do not let this be another way of getting media attention. It would be too much to take. I Pray to God I am wrong.

  • Kurt Roman - 2011-06-07 13:38

    It called drug withdrawal syndrome

  • gerhard.stimie - 2011-06-07 13:46

    It took 4 months to diagnose my wife with ALS (MND)2 years ago. Numerous brain scans, Virology tests, genetic tests, etc etc. The only way to diagnose this disease is to eliminate all other possible causes. She is currently only able to move her eyes and all feeding is done through a tube in her stomach. Her life expectancy is now counted in weeks rather than months! This "fatal" disease as this reporter calls it is truly one of the most traumatic and yes... FATAL diseases that I hope the reporter or anybody for that matter ever could contract. Do more investigation before making flippant comments about MND in reports!

      Rainbow - 2011-06-07 14:42

      lots and lots of strength to you and your wife at this time. this is tough.

  • Gustredamus - 2011-06-07 14:07

    Come on guys, who would do something like this as a publicity stunt? There are doctors reputations on the line here, I for one know dr. Henry Kelbrick to be a very decent bloke. If you read again they are performing more tests to determine which form of the disease he has. MNS are a group of neurological disorders that selectively affect motor neurones,there are various forms of motor neurone disease, a and group of disparate conditions all grouped under the name of MND/MNS. Various tests are performed like MRIs and Blood tests are performed to rule out other conditions because some injuries for example to the neck can mimic ALS. There is no known cure for ALS, treatments only slows the disease progression and prolongs life. Death mostly occurs within 3 - 5 years of diagnosis. I am pretty sure they know he has MNS therefore the prognosis that he does not have long to live, they are trying to find out exactly which form in order to try and prolong his life or at least the quality of his life, insrtead of just spreading rumours rather pray for the man.

      S Bouttell - 2011-06-07 14:17

      All correct. Also, some forms of the disease are faster than others, and life expectancy can be reduced to as little as 6 months depending on which form of als the person has.

  • Pigmalion - 2011-06-07 15:43

    Does he share the same doctor with Shaik?

  • suzi - 2011-06-07 15:55

    Oh Come on people!!!!!! Wake up! This is the same man who LIED to the whole SOUTH AFRICA

  • John - 2011-06-07 16:17

    Joost went from a hero to zero. Now he is playing his illness to raise from a zero to a hero. If he is as ill as media reports claim, so be it. I do not have any sympathy for him. Me myself are suffering from a life long illness and I had to face facts and move on with my life. Nobody has sympathy for me because I am not a media whore like he and his wife!

  • preshengovender69 - 2011-06-07 16:31

    Maybe he got it from that hooker and dildo

  • Lynn - 2011-06-07 18:05

    A I D maybe???? After the hookers and drugs??? Just a thought

  • Susannomore - 2011-06-07 18:09

    Neurology is a dodgy science. It is not like diagnosing a cold. There are so many variables to be considered and this is a "baby" science, compared to some. This is also the one time that I tend to believe Joost. He would have to be mad to make up something of this nature...

  • Cameron Roberts - 2011-06-07 18:43

    I don't think the reporter meant that the disease is not fatal, for it surely is. But I'm also very sceptical about Joost's version. If he really is ill, it is horrible. If this a a publicity stunt - well, then he really deserves everything that comes his way.

  • V4Vendetta - 2011-06-07 19:11

    aids from whores and snorting drugs

  • Ultramel - 2011-06-08 15:02

    My thoughts are with you guys that are going through this! My dad started slurring, we thought a mild stroke. He went for all the tests and in the end he had the most severe case. He was diagnosed within a month. It started in his throat. His speech went and eventaully got a feeding tube. He lost strenght in his hands and his legs started to drag. To watch somebody you love and that was loved by so many others go through this dreaded time is unbearable.Specially when you know that their brain is in full working order. I truely hope for him and his family he does not have it. I do not wish this upon anybody. Not even because of what he has done. If he wasn't in the public eye, we would not even have known about what he has done. As what he did, happens all the time. Even in the best families. (I do not condone what he has done.)

  • Mr Straight - 2011-07-12 15:12

    hi Shame Amor why you want to know about Joost health condition, is it because you lookin for greener Grass since you not on Radio anymore. he he he

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